Coinciding with Canadian Water Week (March 18-24) and World Water Day (March 22), Ontario’s conservation authorities have begun releasing watershed report cards, which detail the current condition of Ontario’s watersheds and include information about streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater, and forests. The report cards examine the connection between water and land resources, and the affect of human actions on those resources.

“Conservation authorities have been monitoring and assessing local conditions across Ontario for years and these report cards bring that information to the general public in a very user-friendly, informative way which we hope will help all of us make good decisions about how to protect important water and land resources that we rely on every day,” said Dick Hibma, chair of Conservation Ontario, in a release.

Challenges such as urbanization and climate change make now a particularly important time to monitor watershed conditions. The report cards will provide the foundation for plans to protect these crucial resources. “Watershed reporting helps to communicate baseline information on watershed health, to identify local and regional differences, and to show us where to target our efforts for the most impact,” says Hibma.

Efforts to improve the health of watersheds can be undertaken by Conservation Authorities and landowners, and include stewardship such as tree planting, water conservation programs, flood and erosion control, stormwater management,  green infrastructure, and watershed planning.

Local reports can be found at watershedcheckup.ca.

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